Have been pondering unit notice boards lately. My units share a hall with 6 other Guiding units, and each has their own identical notice board on the wall, to use or not as they wish. The hall is also used by a couple of community groups regularly, and is sometimes let out for children's parties, and unit sleepovers, especially at weekends. So the public regularly get to see these notice boards.
I therefore figure - that my unit notice board is my unit's advert. It is probably the only thing most of the public see related to my unit. After all, our meetings are usually held behind closed doors, all of our local campsites/holiday houses are on private land, and we don't have many parades or the like for people to see us out and about. So, apart from the times we submit things to the local newspaper, the board's the one thing people know us by.
So my Guides' notice board has a sheet of mid-blue wrapping paper pinned on to form a background. Only cost 50p, but means that there is a neat background, a strong colour which the white paper notices stand out against, and the colour is the one the public associate with Guides. Our unit name is printed in large print, and laminated so that it doesn't fade, and pinned across the top. Means that anyone who views immediately knows whose notice board it is. All of the notices are pinned in the four corners, with matching coloured pins (it's the little details which make a difference between tidy and shabby). Regular items like rotas and progress charts are laminated to keep them neat and durable, and are regularly changed so they stay worth noticing, and the contents are updated (nothing worse than a 'Spring Term Programme' from two years ago still on display!). I use hanging pockets at either side of the board to display pictures of recent events, and include a title and captions so people get an idea of what's portrayed - the pictures stay up for a maximum of 12 months before being renewed, usually much less. Other things are up for a shorter time - we've sometimes had things like a copy of the Promise and Law, a poster which a Patrol has made for one of their challenges, a copy of our Guidelines, a poster or leaflet related to the current theme or badge we're working on, photos from the last BP presentation . . . but each thing only up for a few weeks, and changed once people have had a chance to see it, and before it becomes 'old news' or 'past glories' - I want them to relate to the current members and what they are doing. Notices are hung up with a little 'white space' between each, so they stand out against the background and any missing drawing pins are replaced.
I then looked around the room at the other units' boards. One had so many layers of things pinned on top of each other that I was curious to know how old the things on the bottom layer were! It was certainly so cluttered that you had to study it to see anything. Another had their name on their board in large letters which had clearly once been brightly coloured in felt pen - but which were now faded to pastel. I longed to grab some pens and re-colour, it would only have been a 5-minute job! One had a sheet hanging by one corner which I had to uncurl to read - said corner was stained and dog-eared from having been regularly re-pinned by it's rusty drawing pin. Another had white notices on a white-painted board. One had a couple of certificates which they had received from a charity for their very generous fundraising efforts - but one was dated 5 years ago and the other 7 years ago - I'm sure they've other things they could hang, but to me the fact these certificates were still on display so long after the event shouted of 'we haven't done anything since' - after all, none of the girls who did the fundraising could even still be in the unit!
The whole point of a 'notice' board, is that it should feature things which are 'worth noticing'. But, if people do notice, what does your unit's notice board say about you?